Park Tests Positive for Lead, Arsenic - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/22/03

Park Tests Positive for Lead, Arsenic

A public park has tested positive for toxic materials. What makes it worse is that this park is right next to an elementary school. After tests showed the presence of arsenic and lead, samples of dirt were also taken at East Broad Elementary School. Now this school's playground is closed. But county officials say there is no reason to panic.

"None of us want to call the results alarming at this point," said assistant county manager Pat Monahan. "But we are concerned, particularly because it is a public recreational area. It does not require any closing of the park but it does require more sampling, specifically those areas that are affected."

Although the samples of the contaminated soil are more than 50 feet from the school, school officials are not taking any chances when it comes to their students. "We are concerned about the safety of our children and our staff and the precautions that we're taking at this time are closing the playground and access to the playground until we have additional sampling," explained Lynette Ward, the principal at East Broad Elementary.

County officials should be getting those results back within a week. If there's cause for serious alarm, officials will meet and figure out the best way to deal with the situation.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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